Everyone has stressors and everyone handles them differently. Deep breathing. Smoking. Playing video games. Coffee breaks. Listening to music. Napping. Zoning out. Losing your cool. As you can see, some options are better than others. Have you considered exercise as a positive option?
Wait a minute – you have heard that exercise is also a form of stress. How can physical stress help you with mental stress? And just trying to get into an exercise routine is stressful. It is hard work! How can that be helpful?
Yes – getting started takes effort. But as you get through the first few weeks of exercise, it will become more enjoyable. A regular aerobic exercise program will change your metabolism, your heart, AND your mood.
Wait – it can change my mood? Yes. Exercising reduces the release of harmful hormones while making sure more of the helpful hormones are available during NON-exercise time. The result – you feel more relaxed and optimistic throughout your day.
What else? Taking a break with exercise helps to distract you for a while. This can lead to clearer and more productive thinking.
So the next time you feel stress winning, stand up and move. It is up to you whether you want to take a walk or attend a DHAC exercise class. The main thing is to move!
-Cathy M., Diabetes and Exercise Consultant at Dedham Health